Drivers slid and bumped their vehicles through fierce weather in Lorain County on Thursday.
The county received between 6 and 8 inches of snowfall, according to Sarah Jamison, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Cleveland. The snow was combined with intense wind gusts between 25 mph to 35 mph.
While no snow is expected today, it’s going to be very cold. A high of 15 degrees is forecast with a low of 9, according to the weather service.
After highs of 32 on Saturday and Sunday, readings are expected to again plummet Sunday night with lows of 11 followed by daytime highs Monday of 11. About 2 to 4 inches of snow are possible Saturday into Sunday, Jamison said.
The coldest weather of the winter thus far is forecast for Monday night with overnight lows of minus 5. That will be followed by daytime highs of 5 above Tuesday, and overnight lows of about 0 Tuesday night.
The wind chill is predicted to be minus 20 to 25 degrees Monday night into Tuesday. It could be one of the top-five coldest days ever for the county, Jamison said.
The snow, wind and occasional whiteout conditions made driving dangerous Thursday. A Level 1 snow emergency was issued about 1 p.m. by the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office.
“If you don’t have to go out, we’re asking that people curtail their driving,” a dispatcher with the Lorain County 911 said. “If you have to go, we ask that you use extreme caution.”
Slide-offs caused traffic delays in both eastbound and westbound lanes of state Route 2 east of state Route 57, Thursday morning and afternoon, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol’s Elyria post. Interstate 90 at Route 57 in Elyria was closed between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. due to a jackknifed tractor-trailer, with traffic diverted to Route 57, according to Sgt. Tim Hoffman, deputy post commander.
About 1:30 p.m., a tractor-trailer jackknifed at the westbound exit ramp of the Ohio Turnpike plaza in North Ridgeville. No one was seriously injured and traffic resumed flowing normally around 3:30 p.m., according to the patrol’s Berea post.
County dispatchers reported vehicles going off roads at Broadway and state Route 254, state Route 82 and Reed Road in Eaton Township near Mallard Creek Golf Course, and a car striking a utility pole in the 9400 block of Leavitt Road (state Route 58) in Amherst.
Hoffman said the Elyria post handled 27 disabled or stranded driver calls and investigated 15 crashes between 4 a.m. and 10 p.m. None of the accidents caused serious injuries. At least one crash caused an arrest.
Hoffman said an Ohio Department of Transportation truck was struck by a car about 6:37 p.m. on I-90 west by the Black River bridge in Elyria. Hoffman said the driver had tried to skirt backed up traffic by driving on the right shoulder when he hit the truck and a guard rail. No one was seriously injured.
Driver Todd McKenzie, 37, of the 39000 block of Arlington Drive in Avon, was charged with drunken driving and failure to drive in marked lanes. McKenzie registered a 0.21 blood alcohol content, more than 2.5 times the legal limit, in a Breathalyzer test, Hoffman said.
Staff writer Evan Goodenow contributed to this report.